Overnight, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) noted: "Global production and consumption are both projected to increase through 2018, but consumption is expected to increase at a faster rate than production".
Oil prices edged up on Monday, supported by statements from oil producers over the weekend that an output cut was being successfully implemented, but markets were held back by a surge in drilling that suggested USA production would rise further.
Demand for petroleum products, meanwhile declined.
Benchmark Brent crude fell 15 cents a barrel to $55.29 USA late morning Wednesday, and US light crude was down eight cents at $53.10. "The market is still dominated by the OPEC cut, and it seems they're on track to cut as they promised but we still don't have the data points to prove it".
Saudi Arabia is doing everything in its power to quench worries that some OPEC members and other agreement signatories may cheat and produce more than agreed, because these doubts are weighing on oil prices, keeping them within the US$50-55 a barrel range. USA light crude futures were up 20 cents at $52.95. USA light crude CLc1 was down 40 cents at $52.78. In addition, the report showed that gasoline inventories increased 6.8 million barrels, while distillate stocks remain unchanged last week. Oil is traded in the USA currency and a weaker dollar makes fuel purchases less costly for countries using other currencies, potentially spurring demand. "With those factors continuing to compete over the short term, prices should continue to trade in the current band". Libyan National Oil Co. plans to bring its crude-oil output to 1.25 million barrels a day by the year-end, the state-run oil company's chairman, Mustafa Sanallah, said at an event in London on Tuesday. Production fell 1.4% week-over-week and 3.7% year-over-year.
In the past four weeks - usually already a seasonally slow period for gasoline - demand has totaled 8.3 million barrels per day, 4.7 percent lower than a year ago.
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